“We are itching to get away from Portland, Oregon!”

flea infestation, portland oregon folklore, portland oregon, flea

“We are itching to get away from Portland, Oregon!”

So says the legend in nine-inch letters over the entrance to Vesuvio Café, the legendary bar in North Beach, San Francisco, California. It is purportedly a reference to a flea infestation over 100 years ago throughout all of Portland, that caused many residents to wait out the epidemic in San Francisco.
Across an alley from City Lights Bookstore, the bar was frequented by a number of Beat Generation celebrities including Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as well as other notable cultural figures such as Dylan Thomas, Bob Dylan, and Francis Ford Coppola.

This writer himself visited Vesuvio almost 60 years ago while in the U.S. Navy. Patrons were always treated to a slide show that included the picture postcard from which the motto was taken: an exasperated couple scratching themselves and proclaiming, “We are itching to get away from Portland, Oregon!”

Are you itchy?

In those days, there was little you could do about a widespread flea infestation, but fortunately you now have options—and the best option is Bloom Pest Control and Home Services. “We’re more than a little OCD about the safest effective pest control for your family, your pets, and our environment,” says Co-owner Scott Schneider.

“We use an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage, by means of biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties.”

Adult fleas must have a blood meal to lay eggs. Flea eggs roll off the side of the host and land on the ground wherever the animal was resting. The fleas hatch from the eggs as larvae and set about looking for food and growing up as quickly as possible. Adult fleas only feed on blood, but the larvae are scavengers and can feed on most organic matter, including dried skin cells that you find in household dust or pet dander. In order to continue in their life cycle, the larvae also require a blood meal. They get this by consuming the feces of their parents, which drops off the host animal just like the eggs did.

What can you do?

Just cleaning your pet won’t do you any good. When he lies back down, he re-exposes himself to the flea larvae that are only days away from turning into those tormenting adults. This means that you must thoroughly clean the floors of your home as well as all pet bedding before bringing your pet back from the groomer.

Vacuum as thoroughly as you can and wash pet bedding when possible to bring the fastest possible end to your flea problem. Be prepared to vacuum infested areas daily for at least a couple of weeks to be sure that all of the eggs have hatched and all of the pupae have been triggered.

Of course, this task may sound like a pretty tall order for a busy homeowner. We at Bloom Pest Control have some impressive treatment options that, when combined with a bit of cleaning, can catch the fleas between life cycles. We know where they live and how they think! We not only kill fleas with our proven methods, but with our flea control management we also ensure your problem doesn’t come back.

Author Dan Bosserman

“Dan Bosserman, a resident of Oregon since 1950, grew up 13 miles from Sandy. He has lived near Sandy for 40 years and has been a writer for local newspapers, known for his historical columns. He is a volunteer in community organizations, including the Sandy Historical Society, which, along with descendants of original settlers, has provided photographs for this history of Sandy.”

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